Never deliver a presentation you wouldn’t want to sit through. If you only take away one principle for creating better presentations, take this one away! If you run through your presentation and you’re bored, most likely your audience will be too. That’s the time when we have to think a little deeper, try a little harder, and see how to make sure that we’re excited about our own presentation. You will then be in a better place to move your audience.

One piece of good news to start off with: we are all visual storytellers!

Some people are certain they aren’t, but at one time we all were!  Here’s an example: Children are the best visual story tellers. They make drawings, and when you ask them to tell you about their drawing they’ll come up with elaborate stories to describe it. Below is a painting by a friend’s daughter.

a young child's painting as inspiration for a story

This painting shows the daughter (the big one) standing next to her uncle (the smaller one next to her). She gave him balloons for his birthday, but then a snake came up and scared her uncle, causing the balloons to fly up into the sky.  When they reached the sun, they popped.

Most of us are scared to do things like this because we’re afraid to fail, that we’ll be judged on our artwork and not our story. But looking at this picture, all the elements of a great story are there.

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.

—Sir Ken Robinson

Part of the way that we retain our creativity is to be willing to have a go and take a risk. If we are to bring that visual storyteller part of us to our modern-day experience, it’s going to be risky. We might have to dust off some of the “child drawing” skills. It might feel uncomfortable. It might not look very good at first until we get our skills up and running. That’s going to be risky. Those who are willing to take a risk are going to have an advantage. They’re going to try some things, they’re going to get better, and you are going to see yourself out-distanced by folks around you. It’s only those who willing to take that risk who will move forward!

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